Buttercup Pasta with Spinach and Sweet Onions

Happy Pre-Thanksgiving! Today is the first full day in Seattle with the family and I am sure we are having a blast. I couldn’t stay away for a week while I was on vacation so I tried to think ahead and plan a few posts while I am traveling 🙂

I also tried to plan ahead for the munchies that hit while I travel. To prepare for my vacation, I took the following snacks along with me…I am always worried about being hungry, go figure!

I brought along:

  • Larabars – peanut butter cookie, cherry pie and cashew cookie
  • individual packs of raw almonds (I wish they made this in a trail mix, but I could make my own!)
  • 1 Cacao-chia bar from Two moms in the Raw – I found this at Whole Foods , can’t wait to try!
  • Two packs of pre-packed oatmeal that includes 1/2 cup gluten free oats, 3/4 scoop of vanilla egg white protein, 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts and 1 Tbsp chia seed – all I need is to add hot water and I am good to go!
  • Himalayan pink sea salt (for meals while I travel so I don’t have to use table salt)

And for today’s recipe – I promise the squash obsession will die down soon but my thinking is “eat up while it’s in season!”

I should be turning orange with all the winter squash I’ve been consuming lately. Breakfast, lunch, dinner – it always sounds good to me…I think I am addicted, but is that a bad thing? After a workout, my favorite thing to eat is squash in one form or another  – sauteed, baked, roasted, mashed, pureed in a smoothie – it’s all yummy and very satisfying from the complex carbohydrates.

You may have seen variations of winter squash + pasta floating around the web lately, and I am not the exception. I actually made this dish several weeks ago but I am just now getting around to sharing it with you – shame on me!

Healthy, full of flavor and packed with nutrients, this pasta dish can be served as a main dish or as a comforting side. I used buttercup squash that was on sale but any winter squash could be used here with equally scrumptious results 🙂

Buttercup Pasta with Spinach and Sweet Onions


4 cups gluten free penne. rigatoni or shells (I used OrgraN GF buckwheat spirals I found at Whole Foods)
2 tsp olive oil, refined coconut oil or butter
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T fresh sage, chopped
4 cups fresh baby spinach (or other leafy green)
1 1/2 cup buttercup squash puree (pumpkin, butternut, kabocha or other winter squash could be subbed)
3 Tbsp grated Gruyere cheese (parmesan cheese or other sharp cheese can be subbed)
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (I bet sour cream or cottage cheese would work too)
3/4 cup unsweetened, plain non-dairy milk, vegetable broth or chicken broth (more if needed)
pinch of ground nutmeg
grated parmesan cheese for serving (I used about 1/4 cup but add as much as you want)
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste


1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.
2. Meanwhile. heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauteed until lightly golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add half of the onions to a blender and add sage, garlic and spinach to the skillet with the remaining onions and let cook for one or two minutes until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.
3. To the blender with the onions, add squash puree, gruyere, greek yogurt, milk/broth, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Blend until pureed and add more milk/broth as needed if the sauce is too thick.
4. Add wilted spinach-onions and squash sauce to pasta and toss to combine in the pot over low heat until warmed through. Add to serving bowls, top with grated parmesan and serve!

Serves 4

Optional: for an extra protein boost, add 2 links of sliced, sauteed chicken or other sausage to the pasta and sauce before serving.


4 thoughts on “Buttercup Pasta with Spinach and Sweet Onions

  1. I looooove your version! Looks so good! They say our cravings are generally a good indicator of what our body needs, and I think that quite a few of us are craving everything and anything pumpkin / winter squash at this time of year, so don’t feel bad about the squash obsession. I, for one, don’t mind it at all! 😉

    Hope you’re having a blast in Seattle. Can’t wait to hear all about it! 🙂

  2. Pingback: What to Eat this Season – Winter’s Top 10 Veggies - myQcare

  3. Pingback: What to Eat this Season – Winter’s Top 10 Veggies | San Diego, CA |Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups

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